Special Edition in Memory of Enid Davis, Jamaican hero
Special Memorial Edition Dedicated To The Memory of ENID DAVIS, Jamaican Hero
Enid Davis, martyred in the service of Jamaica poor
Enid Davis was vice president of the Jamaica Awareness Association of California (JAAC). She left her comfortable home in Los Angeles to come to Jamaica as one of the JAAC medical team in order to save lives.
The medical team of about 40 had left Los Angeles to render free medical treatment to residents of rural parishes of Jamaica. However before the mission even got started, on Saturday June 22 shortly after noon, on the Long Bay main road in St. James, their car had a flat tire. As they waited on repairs, an oncoming car went out of control and struck Enid Davis. She was killed on the spot. Her husband Wallen and two others were injured, treated at hospital and released. The driver of the car was subsequently charged with manslaughter.
It has to be a tragedy of monstrous proportions and must have utterly devastated the group. Prime Minister PJ Patterson must be commended for visiting the group at their hotel, promising to pay to transport the body back to Los Angeles and for 2 airline tickets for Jamaican family members to attend the funeral back in Los Angeles.
Nevertheless, the JAAC team, numbering 37, mustered up the courage and carried out their mission of mercy. In rural St. Ann, they constructed makeshift operation and examination rooms, and performed minor surgeries. From far and near the number of patients grew. One patient even arrived at 2 am, a full 7 hours early to make sure she was in time to receive treatment ahead of the 300 patients that overflowed the waiting room. By the time the team ended up in rural St. Mary, they had examined about 2,000 patients and had disbursed over US$130,000 worth of medicine.
At these rural clinics, residents can barely afford doctors fees as low as US$3, much less the higher prescription costs. As a result, cases of hypertension, diabetes, STD's, and widespread fungal infections are left to proliferate. It is because of these dreadful conditions that the services of the JAAC is so valuable.
However, Jamaican bureaucracy frustrated them from completing all their mission. They also brought 40 computers from the US, but during the 2 weeks of their stay, Customs failed to release them.
JAAC/Enid Davis Memorial Fund
Let us acknowledge and revere our heroes! Hot Calaloo urges its readers to contact their friends and Jamaican organisations to recognize and remember this brave hero by contributing to this fund. Send donations to:
JAAC/Enid Davis Memorial Fund
Posthumous national award for Enid Davis campaign
FTAA seminar fails to convince
The topic was "The future of Caribbean Business and the Free Trade Area of the Americas: Assessing the opportunities and the challenges. It was held at Howard University in Washington DC and was sponsored jointly by the Caribbean Ambassadors’ Caucus, the OAS, and CARICOM Regional Negotiating Machinery. Hot Calaloo attended the conference convinced that the FTAA will be an economic catastrpophe for CARICOM and heard nothing new to change this view.
US can’t be trusted
The FTAA is a trade agreement, but can we trust the US to abide by international agreements if they encounter any unfavorable dispute settlement? They are the only superpower and have show their contemptuous disregard for international organizations and agreements evidenced by:
If any CARICOM country goes against ant FTAA rules even for the sake of its economical survival, we can expect harsh sanctions. But, if the US does, it will probably threaten to leave and get away with it scott free.
(Look for regular updates on FTAA as negotiations on the rules continue. See if CARICOM can hold out for a fair deal or is the Caribbean on target for even more economic misery. So, lets be vigilant and ready!)
Haiti admitted to CARICOM
Haiti was admitted as the 15th member of the Caribbean Community, becoming the most populous and poverty-stricken state in the trading bloc. The poorest country in the hemisphere has a per capita of US$400 per year compared with a country like the Bahamas or Barbados with an annual income of US$10,000. Haiti has a population of 8 million compared to the total of the rest of CARICOM of 6.5 million. In addition 200 years of dictatorship has taken their toll and violence, political assassinations and decimated institutions are the norm.
So President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's government needs a lot of help dealing with precarious national security and in collecting thousands of illegal weapons in the hands of government and opposition partisans. Guyana's President Jagdeo Bharrat will visit Haiti later this year to welcome it to the bloc and explain the benefits of membership.
Ironically Haiti's admission took place in Guyana at the CARICOM summit, during which anti-government protestors rioted, resulting in 2 deaths and at least 12 injured by gunshot wounds.
US Congress votes down Cuban embargo
The Republican-led House defied a veto threat from President Bush by
voting overwhelmingly to ease the 40-year-old economic embargo against
Cuba and let American tourists visit the island.
Serious problem brewing inside CARICOM
In the judgement of CARICOM General Secretary Edwin Carrington issues of regional unity are at stake. The whole concept of freedom of movement without visas between member countries is being threatened. Basically small countries are afraid of being overwhelmed by immigrants from the larger CARICOM member countries.
Anguilla has recently moved to impose visa requirements for Jamaica and Guyana. Concern is rising in Antigua as a recent survey found that 35% of the population were non-Antiguan.
Even in the Bahamas which is on the verge of CARICOM membership, this is an anticipated problem. Boatloads of Haitian refugees have been ending up in Bahamas and sometimes Jamaica. They have been sent back to Haiti as fast as they arrived. Now that Haiti is a full fledged member of CARICOM, there is concern that they might be entitled to stay as there are no visa requirements for CARICOM members. When we consider that Haiti has a population of 8.5 million, more than all the rest of CARICOM countries put together (7.5 million) and 4 times the next most populous country, Jamaica. It also has the poorest population by far. Massive influx of Haitian refugees could happen without visa restrictions which would easily plunge both destination countries into economic chaos. They do not have the resources and facilities to accommodate such an influx. Mr. Carrington seems intent on convincing these countries of the need to continue this visa-free movement between members. Hot Calaloo disagrees. The merit of visa-free travel between member states is not that big a factor in the unity of CARICOM. On the other hand if nationals start to feel that immigrants are threatening their jobs in large numbers, it will easily escalate into ill will and worse, which will be a real threat to CARICOM unity. Until each country has the resources to handle that type of unrestricted immigration, I think they should continue visa requirements.
West Kingston Commission clears security forces
The 3-member Commission of Enquiry into the violence that lerft 27 people dead in Western Kingston on July 7 to 10 of last year (2001) have completed their report. They cleared the security forces of any wrongdoing. The commission was headed by Justice Julius Issac of Canada. The report found :
T&T pipeline would pump natural gas throughout Caribbean
and Tobago announced plans to run an undersea natural gas pipeline
throughout the Caribbean, saying the project would open new markets in the
region. The proposed pipeline
would run from Trinidad to the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe
through the Eastern Caribbean, ending in Puerto Rico, Trinidadian Prime
Minister Patrick Manning said at
the conclusion of a three-day Caribbean summit in Guyana.
studies estimate a line running from Trinidad to Guadeloupe and Martinique
with branches extending to Antigua, St. Kitts and Barbados could cost up to
$500 million, Manning said.
and Tobago has known natural gas reserves of more than 22 trillion cubic
feet. Revenue from gas exports is projected to be $7.3 billion over 20
US court asked to block loan to Guyana
A US telecommunications company has asked a court in Washington to block a loan to Guyana from the Inter-American Development Bank, claiming that the funds will be used to break its monopoly there.
Atlantic Tele-Network, which received a 40-year exclusive license 11 years ago when it bought the state-owned GT&T, the local telephone company, said the government's plans to use the $18m loan to create a nationwide information technology network would offer competing services.
ATN is seeking an injunction directing Paul O'Neill, the US treasury
secretary, to instruct Jose Fourquet, the US executive director at the
bank, to vote against the loan. ATN is also seeking an order to block
all other IDB loans to Guyana.
Civil servants protest tax hike in Dominica
Hundreds of government workers marched outside Dominica’s government headquarters to protest a new payroll tax. They were protesting a new tax of 4%, on the wages of those earning more than US$3,300 per year. Income taxes already run 20 – 40%. The strike prevented most government departs from operating.
The protest came after Parliament approved an austerity budget of US$90 million, a massive cut from the last year’s budget of US$143 million. Finance minister Osbourne Riviere announced plans to cut the US$30 million deficit by :
It was also reported that Dominica’s Prime Minister met with a top leader from an Eastern Caribbean Security force. This prompted a rally by opposition forces urging nearby nations of St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines to stay out of their internal affairs.
Kingston, Jamaica, a former beautiful city
Kingston, Jamaica used to be a beautiful city. Not anymore. A major contributor to the decline is the overwhelming presence of sidewalk vendors that cover the downtown commercial area like a plague of locusts. It had got so bad that even the historic parish church was rendered inaccessible to churchgoers and was considering closing. Finally this created an outcry and the besieged merchants whose shops and other places of businesses downtown were relieved when the KSAC vowed to clear the squatters. The police cleared the squatters in a 7-hour night undertaking. The squatters were angry. They did not want to move to the legal markets provided for them. Legal merchants breathed a sigh of relief. People could get access to them again. But not for long.
Within days the majority of the streets were once again blocked with squatters. They did not put back their stalls, but used boxes, metal drums and whatever they could. They had taken advantage of the lack of police presence. KSAC is frustrated as they state there is not enough police to keep all the areas clear. So chaos and frustration continues to reign.
Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz get land
Four members of Jamaica’s 1998 World Cup soccer team have been awarded land courtesy of the government through its "Operation Pride" movement. All 4 players are from Montego Bay area and received certificates which gave them the right to land at the Barrett hall Development . The 4 players are Theodore Whitmore, Warren Barrett, Paul "Tegat" Davis and the late Stephen "Shorty" Malcom, whose mother accepted on his behalf.
Large teacher exodus from Jamaica feared
The president of the Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA) says he expects an even larger exodus of teachers come September. This time the destination of majority will be England. From his information sources he expects more than the 450 that left last year. Worse yet the demand is for teachers in the field of the sciences, information technology and special education.
Caribbean coral reefs at risk
According to a report by the Cousteau Society the world's coral reefs are at risk but those in the Caribbean are in the worst shape. For though 58% of the worlds reefs are at risk over 60% of those in the Caribbean are at risk. In the Caribbean the worst ones are in Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the lesser Antilles. The culprits of destruction are identified as over-fishing, destructive fishing practices (such as fishing with explosives or poison), extensive coastal development, and pollution. Their destruction is not only an aesthetic problem but has economic consequences for the world. These coral reefs are considered the " most productive ecosystem in the sea" and worldwide yield approximately US$375 billion per year in goods and services.
Jamaica stages the best World Junior Champs ever
"This is the best, the most successful World Junior Championships……."Jamaica is the most successful country to stage this event. This is the most wonderful crowd that I've seen at this event. The world came to Kingston, Jamaica. This has been a meet of celebration. "
These were the words the president of the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF), Lamine Diack, used to describe Jamaica’s hosting of the IAAF/Cocoa Cola World Junior Championships. It seemed this euphoric feeling was shared by the international contestants and spectators, visiting Jamaicans and the local population as the undertaking ended with a festive reggae party in the National Stadium to the sounds of Bob Marley songs and Beres Hammond.
On the field, Jamaica and the Caribbean distinguished themselves. In total medals, Jamaica with 11 was second to the US with 21. Fifteen-year-old Usain Bolt captured the men’s 200 meters to become the youngest ever to win that event. T&T’s Darryl Brown and Marc Brown took 1-2 in the glamour event, the men’s100 meters. Brown’s time of 10.09 seconds was a new record. Jamaica’s 4x100 m women's relay team of Sherone Simpson, Kerron Stewart, Anneisha McLaughlin and Simone Facey also took gold.
Here is the medal count for the leaders and the rest of the Caribbean:
Caribbean impress at Commonwealth Games
Debbie Fergueson of the Bahamas took the women’s sprint double, the 100m and the 200m in Commonwealth record times, to lead Caribbean athletes in an impressive display in athletics at the 17th Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England. They completely dominated the sprints. But they ventured out into new territory to win events like women’s long jump, men’s decathlon, and women’s Javelin. In the 4x400 relays for both men and women, Jamaica had incredible bad luck during the race, which prevented them from finishing both races where they had started as favorites. Nevertheless Caribbean athletes had an impressive haul of medals as indicated below:
W 1. Debbie Fergueson (Bah); 2. Veronica Campbell
(J); 3. Sevatheda Fynes